Crapo language for transit, safe streets,
rural programs included in final bill
WASHINGTON, DC Idahos transportation infrastructure
stands to get a significant boost thanks to provisions in
the six-year highway reauthorization transportation bill negotiated
by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.
The reauthorization bill, known as SAFETEA, or the Safe,
Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity
Act, passed the Senate today by a vote of 76-21. It authorizes
federal aid for highways, highway safety programs and transit
programs for six years. The previous transportation bill,
the Transportation Equity Act or TEA-21, had expired at the
end of last September and was extended until the end of this
Crapo championed a number of provisions that were included
in final bill passed today, including measures to increase
safety for school children, make improvements at railway-highway
crossings, facilitate fire-breaks in highway right of ways,
enhance fish passage and public access in federal lands, and
also improve the rural density formula for transit programs
in rural states like Idaho.
A good transportation system promotes economic growth
in Idaho and across the nation while improving our quality
of life, Crapo remarked. It gets product from
the farm and factory to the distribution centers, and on to
stores and consumers. It enables us to move safely and efficiently
to school, work, and across the state and country.
Above all, it translates into much-needed employment opportunities
in a variety of areas. The transportation bill passed today
in the Senate is expected to create as many as two million
new jobs nationwide over the six-year duration of the bill.
In addition, Idaho will receive funding to create safer sidewalks
and streets for our families, construct environmentally responsible
passage for fish populations under roads, continue surface
transportation repair and improvement, and improve mass transit
Michael Gifford, Executive Vice President of the Idaho Associated
General Contractors, thanked Crapo for boosting funding for
The Idaho Associated General Contractors are excited
with the Senate passage of the highway bill, S. 1072. We salute
Senator Crapo for his hard work in crafting this legislation.
Idaho will see a 35.59% boost in funding over the next 6 years,
which will improve our roads and bridges. This increase in
funding will create thousands of jobs and reduce the number
of fatalities on our highways, Gifford said.
Idaho will receive under the bill (over the six-year period):
With the federal government owning so much land in
Idaho and much of the West, federal investment in the transportation
infrastructure is needed and appropriate, Crapo added.
Without good interstate and arterial routes in the
rural states, citizens of our nations major metro areas
could not efficiently move people and goods between the West
Coast and the Midwest and the East. The measures adopted in
this bill will ensure an efficient, effective transportation
infrastructure in Idaho.